Saving babies through beverages, baked goods & bulging bellies.

On Friday, March 28 we had our Potluck CookOff. Rather than have people cook 30 vats of chili (not enough antacid in Grand Rapids would help us), we encouraged people to cook up or prepare their family favorites and bring them to our office for a fierce competition.

Nom... nom...nom...

Nom… nom…nom… photos taken by Anna Gustafson – ddm mkt & comm.

The first step was setting a base price. We tried a modest $7, cheaper than most downtown lunch places in Grand Rapids. MI.

Next we encouraged people to bring change to give to cooks whose food reigned supreme. Like it? Love it? Drop some change into their tip cup. Tips add up, babies love change. (Please do not feed change to babies, that is dangerous.)

This year we introduced recipe sharing. Love the recipe? Want to wow and amaze your friends? GREAT, pay $1 and you too can make this culinary miracle in your own home. (Results are still dependent on your own ability to cook.)

People signed up for lots of creative dishes (we had 20 cooks and almost all 50+ employees ate in), here is a smattering of what was offered:

more scooping, less talking

more scooping, less talking – photos taken by Anna Gustafson ddm mkt & comm.

  • Greek couscous salad
  • Pulled pork sandwiches
  • Beef stroganoff
  • Moroccan chickpeas
  • Jalapeno poppers wrapped in bacon
  • Carrot salad
  • Hummus duo
  • Pesto pasta salad
  • Potato salad
  • Blackberry cupcakes
  • Maple cake
  • Better-than-sex cake

Hungry? Yeah me too. The key was to let people decide what to bring and how much to bring. We provided plenty of reminders via clever emails and signage around the office, we realized that our co-workers are quite horrible at remembering things. Even. Right. In. Front. Of. Their. Faces….. sigh.

Christa, fellow MOD SQUAD member, adding some lunchtime cheer to her recipe.

Christa, fellow MOD SQUAD member, adding some lunchtime cheer to her recipe. photos taken by Anna Gustafson, ddm mkt & comm.

The $7 fee went to the respective team to which the ddmer is assigned to (whether a ddmer participates in any activities or now, doesn’t matter, in case they do their contributions goes to the team.) Tips were also assigned to the designated team to which the cook belonged.

Simple and easy.

Yes, sir, those are bacon-wrapped jalapeno poppers. photos taken by Anna Gustafson ddm mkt & comm.

Yes, sir, those are bacon-wrapped jalapeno poppers. photos taken by Anna Gustafson ddm mkt & comm.

People were generous with their meals and with tipping. Enthusiasm was up, we had 50% more cooks and we doubled our results over last year, $463 for 2014, $280 for 2013. This might not feel like a huge sum, but the potluck cookoff, which is a ddm favorite, is a great warm up for the rest of our inner-office March of Dimes activities. Mark’s team, the blue team (I am on that team.) won the competition, but honestly only a few dollars separated the winners from the losers.

I was in the best mood that day... no idea why.

I was in the best mood that day… no idea why. photos taken by Anna Gustafson ddm mkt & comm.

If you feel inspired, help us raise some money! (This link is for my personal page that I share with Henry my adorable mini man.) We encourage all donations, and we sent out a special thank you message to all who do. If you are inspired and you are a ddmer, sign up to fund raise through Team Iris. Not a ddmer but still want to be part of the March of Dimes efforts, lovely learn more from their website!

Our first event was a success and we are excited about the MOD 2014 season. Please consider helping!

To learn more about the March of Dimes and how it’s helping families in your community, please visit their website for more information.

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